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Man charged for allegedly stealing fautasi t-shirts from employer

American Samoa District Court building
He claims he was assaulted and threatened afterwards, and he wants to file a complaint

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  A man who has a trio of pending cases — including one in the Family, Drug, and Alcohol (FDA) court — has been arrested once again. He made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning.

For this new matter, Apelu Pati is charged with one count of stealing, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $1,000 or both.

A request from his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Anna Whiles to release Pati on his own recognizance was denied by presiding District Court Judge Pro Tem, Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde, who maintained bail at $100

According to the government's case, the owner of a local print shop walked into the DPS central station in Fagatogo last Saturday, March 30th, to report that one of his employees had stolen from the company.

The criminal complaint notes that the company owner was tipped off by another store employee, who told the boss that he saw Pati concealing a white paint bucket in a 'ie lavalava while "walking towards the back".

The witness claimed that when Pati knew he was being watched, he immediately put the paint bucket on the floor. The witness asked Pati what he was doing.

Pati told his co-worker that his supervisor had ordered him to fetch the white paint and prepare it for an order of t-shirts that needed to be printed. The store owner told police that his wife had gone through video clips of the days Pati was suspected to have stolen the t-shirts off the store shelves before putting them in his backpack.

The criminal complaint notes that the paint bucket was found inside the storage room, and Pati had not taken off with it, he only "attempted to steal it."

The value of the 8 fautasi t-shirts Pati allegedly stole is $159.92 ($19.99 each)

Court documents note that Pati violated conditions of his probation, which expired this past Monday, Apr. 1st — the day after his boss reported the alleged theft.

Pati's next court appearance for this case is set for Monday, Apr. 15th — the same date his other pending matters will be heard.

Pati told police he was assaulted and threatened by the store owner, and he wants to file a complaint.


Pati was in court earlier this year on Jan. 4th for a status hearing and pretrial conference for three separate criminal matters — all from 2018.

He was released on a $200 bond.

In early December 2018, Pati's father-in-law called the cops on him for disturbing the peace at their Vaitogi home. The father-in-law said he wanted to teach Pati a lesson, because he had a habit of stirring things up when he comes home intoxicated from work.

When police arrived at the scene, Pati ran out of the house and hid under a tree. Police say he reeked of alcohol.

During court proceedings for that case, the government noted that Pati posted bond and was released from custody a month earlier — in November 2018 for public peace disturbance — and here he was again, arrested and charged for the same thing.

On Monday, Mar. 18th, Pati appeared in District Court again. This time, for a pretrial conference and an Order to Show Cause to modify/ revoke probation (transferred to FDA court).

Pati was remanded to custody yesterday morning. If he is able to post bond, he is to remain law abiding and comply with all standard conditions of release.